On Wednesday, March 24, the Coronado Public Library held a virtual Town Hall meeting to discuss renovation of the library’s Winn Room. The meeting began with an introduction to the project from Director of Library Services Shaun Briley, followed by a presentation of design concepts from Project Architect Mark Steele [M.W. Steele Group], and concluded with questions and comments from residents.

Briley began by saying,“This is not a done deal... we are still listening.” He then provided background information on the site. The current library building was constructed in 1973 and renovated in 2005. The Winn Room was not part of the 2005 renovation. The room is 2,719 square feet with a capacity of 114 people, low ceiling, and poor acoustics. It has always been available for free to community groups, and events held there are required to be open and free for the public. The Library Board approved the concept of the Winn Room renovation in 2018. In January 2020 City Council authorized a contract with M.W. Steele to explore expansion and renovation concepts for the Winn Room. A community stakeholder committee was formed to help refine design concepts, and in November 2020 the project moved to schematic drawings to be presented for public input. 

Steele presented two design concepts at the meeting: 

Concept A: 

Would increase the room size to 4,750sf with a capacity of 200-240 in a North/South orientation. It would feature a raised patio/deck overlooking the park side (Sixth Street), glass walls on three sides surrounded by park area, and an emphasis on bigger events such as dinners and meetings. The drawings referred to the concept as “Glass Pavilion in the Park.” The roof would be raised, but no higher than the current library roof. 

Concept B:

Would increase the size to 4,545sf with a capacity of 200-400 in an East/West orientation. The space would also have a parkside deck but a smaller footprint than Concept A (extending 11 feet into the park). The ceiling would also be raised but the room would have a “classic auditorium design, snug up against the existing building,” said Steele. 

Both options would include storage, remodeled bathrooms and kitchen, entry lobby, updated technology, and raised ceilings to address the acoustic issues. Both designs would also feature a removable partition wall to create two separate smaller spaces, and the ability to darken for film screenings.

According to Steele, all materials and scale on both designs would be aligned with current architecture on the building. He added that there will be an estimated loss of 4-5 trees with either of the designs.

Both options are currently conceptual, but if the community decides to proceed then details will be defined. During the comment and question part of the meeting approximately ten residents spoke in support of the project, and all preferred Concept B. 

The City’s website lists cost estimates at: Concept A - $5,985,500 and Concept B - $6,260,500. When asked about funding for the project, Director of Public Services Cliff Maurer explained that this would be a capital improvement project that would likely come out of either the General Fund or Building Replacement Fund. He added that the final decision on how to resource the project would be made by the City Council. According to City Architect, Jackie Lu, the timeline for the project would be 2.5-3.5 years. 

Briley confirmed that local groups would have booking priority and the facility would continue to be free to reserve and events held there would also be free and open to all. He invited the public to visit the library and view the architectural drawings on display in the foyer. He also encouraged residents to participate in the discussion via commentcoronado.org. All feedback will be presented to the City Council prior to any final decision.

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